Period Studies

​In addition to our research interests in Medieval literature, Romanticism and Victorian literature, we have particular strengths in Renaissance literature, children’s literature, and early American literature and culture.

Children’s Literature

Though a comparatively recent academic discipline, children’s literature has become one of the fastest growing areas of research in literary study, drawing on intersecting fields such linguistics, psychology, and education. Research into children’s literature at NTU focuses on the genre’s extended history, looking back to its early eighteenth-century origins in order to examine the influence of religious, didactic writings on the formal characteristics of later, ostensibly more “child-friendly” works.

Early American literature

The study of colonial and revolutionary American literature is crucial to any attempt to understand the culture and politics of the contemporary United States. But the field also investigates broader questions and controversies that continue to shape the modern world as a whole, including the origins of the concept of race, debates over religious liberty, the relationship of citizenship and immigration, and indigenous opposition to environmentally destructive land use.

Renaissance Literature

Research into Renaissance literature at NTU focuses on how early modern historiography influenced the making and consumption of early modern English historical narratives in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Jane Wong’s recent monograph, Dissent and Authority in Early Modern Ireland: the English Problem from Bale to Shakespeare (Routledge, 2019), examines the breakdown of political consensus in Elizabethan Ireland and its representations and provides an alternative framework for the study of Anglo-Irish relations in early modern literature.

Recent NTU English publications in Period Studies areas include The Aesthetics of Children’s Poetry: A Study of Children’s Verse in English (Routledge, 2017) co-edited by Katherine Wakely-Mulroney, Victorian Narratives of Failed Emigration: Settlers, Returnees, and Nineteenth-Century Literature in English (Routledge, 2016) by Tamara Wagner, and “Millennialism” a chapter by Christopher Trigg in New Histories of American Puritan Literature (Cambridge, 2020). 

NTU English faculty have also published work in prominent journals such as American Literature and The Review of English Studies. Tamara Wagner’s latest study, The Victorian Baby in Print: Infancy, Infant Care, and Nineteenth-Century Popular Culture, is forthcoming in 2020.

Related Courses

HL2001Medieval Literature​Dr Katherine Hindley
HL2002Renaissance LiteratureDr Jane Wong
HL2004Sensibility and Romanticism​Dr Katherine Wakely-Mulroney
HL2005Victorian LiteratureDr Tamara Wagner
HL2028Nineteen-Century American Literature and CultureDr Christopher Trigg